Vanilla Bean Coconut Cupcakes


[donotprint]Rich, Moist, Dense, Vanilla-y and Coconut-y and just downright tonguegasmic — that’s what these cupcakes are.

vanilla coconut cupcake

I’ve been playing around with coconut and vanilla cupcake for a while now, trying to find that perfect harmonious blend and I’m pretty sure that I have finally found it!

I adapted this recipe slightly from one that I found in Bon Appetit

The not so secret ingredients in these cupcakes are reduced coconut milk and vanilla beans!

coconut milk

The coconut milk can be reduced and kept in the fridge up to 2 days before you plan on making the cupcakes.  YAY for planning ahead and making life easier!

Sift 2 Cups of flour a couple of times and then gently spoon 2 Cups of the sifted flour into a medium mixing bowl (you will have leftover flour in your sifting bowl, that’s ok)

Whisk baking powder and salt into the 2 cups of sifted flour.

Split and scrape the seeds from two vanilla beans

vanilla bean scraping

Using an electric mixer, beat softened butter until smooth.  Add sugar; beating on medium high until the butter and sugar are well mixed, scrape the sides occasionally if necessary.  Beat the eggs in 1 at a time, blending well after each addition, after egg number 2, add in the vanilla bean scrapings and beat well.

See all those nomalicious black dots — that is vanilla bean– that lends these cupcakes the most delicious vanilla flavor that you just can’t get with extract.

vanilla bean batter

Once the vanilla beans are fully incorporated, slowly add in half the flour mixture on low speed until just blended.  Add 1 C room temperature reduced coconut milk; beat well. Add in 1/2 to 1 C unsweetened coconut flakes, blend well.  Add in the rest of the flour and mix on low speed, scraping the sides as needed, until all the ingredients are fully blended.

Divide the batter evenly (a standard ice cream scoop works beautifully) among the lined cupcake tins.  Bake at 350 for about 17 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when touched with a fingertip.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY before icing or tasting.  These cupcakes are best when completely cooled (not that we tried them hot, warm and cold or anything)

vanilla bean coconut cupcakes dof

I made a traditional butter and vanilla and powdered sugar icing but — I add cream cheese to mine to give it more depth and make it less sweet.  Use whatever icing tickles your tastebuds.

Once you begin to unwrap the cupcakes, you start to see the delicious flecks of vanilla bean that take these cupcakes to the next level.

vanilla bean coconut cupcake unwrapping




Recipe: Vanilla Bean Coconut Cupcakes


  • 2 (13.5 oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk (reducing instructions to follow)
  • 2 sifted Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Seeds of 2 large vanilla beans
  • 1/2 to 1 C unsweetened flaked coconut


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. Line cupcake tins with liners (mine made 19 cupcakes)
  3. Sift flour and gently measure out 2 Cups of sifted flour into a medium measuring bowl. (there will be leftover flour in your original bowl — that’s okay)
  4. Whisk baking powder and salt into sifted flour.
  5. Beat softened butter in an electric mixer until smooth, add sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping sides until blended.
  6. Add 2 eggs – beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla bean seeds and the 3rd egg, blend well.
  7. Add 1/2 C to 1 C flaked coconut, blend well.
  8. Add in half the flour, scraping sides and mix at low speed until well blended.
  9. Add in 1 C reduced coconut milk; mix until just blended on low speed.
  10. Add in the rest of the flour and mix on low speed, scraping the sides until all the ingredients are completely blended.
  11. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
  12. Bake about 17 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when pressed with a finger.
  13. Cool in tins a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before icing
  14. * You could add toasted coconut to the tops of the frosted cupcakes for an additional pretty and delicious touch — I didn’t, but, I might next time 😉



Recipe: Reduced Coconut Milk


  • 2 (13.5 oz) cans unsweeted coconut milk


  1. Bring coconut milk to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. (I used a stock pot because the coconut milk will boil up high)
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and boil until reduced to roughly 1 1/2 Cups (you’ll have to eyeball this)
  3. Stir it occasionally over the 25 minutes or so that this will take. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. If you aren’t using it that day — put it in a small seal-able dish and keep it in the refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  4. When ready to use — allow it to come back to room temperature




Recipe: Buttery Cream Cheese Icing


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or scrapings of a vanilla bean for a more intense vanilla)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C milk —start with 1/4 C and add more if you deem necessary
  • 6 to 10 C powdered sugar (your call for consistency)
  • 1/2 to 1 block cream cheese (once again, your call)


  1. Put butter and 4 Cups of sugar into a bowl and using an electric mixer; blend well
  2. Add in vanilla and 1/4 C milk — blend well
  3. Add in 2 oz of cream cheese at a time, blending well
  4. alternate adding powdered sugar and cream cheese until the icing is the consistency and has the flavor you want

Quick Notes

** this is one of those recipes that you just play around with until you get it the way that you want it.



Happy Mouthwatering Monday! Hope y’all are ready for a fabulous week! I can’t wait to see what y’all have to share today. Thank y’all for sharing the love by commenting, visiting others and linking back in your recipe posts!! I hope to have a new MWM image next week! Have a great Monday, y’all!

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  1. I absolutely love cupcakes and yours look so perfect and delicious. I never made them using coconut milk. I must try it.

    Thank you for hosting this linky.

  2. My husbands two favorite flavors are coconut and vanilla. Can’t wait to make these for him. Linked up my latest creation Buttermilk Pie with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips. Thanks for hosting!

  3. I’m gonna make this one, I know my kids love vanilla, just not sure about coconuts. 😛 But they should like this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mmm- your cupcakes sound (and look) amazing! I printed the recipe so I will be ready to make them!
    I am sharing my recipe for Pizza Flavors Stuffed Mushrooms. They have lots of great flavors and are pretty healthy too!
    Thanks for hosting!

  5. Ohhh Rachel, your tinnie tiny cupcakes are so darling! I love coconut and vanilla bean so this is going on the must try for a treat list! Well, now, I might upset you, because I am a northern girl linking up an Easy Barbecue Beef on a bun recipe…I think it tastes great, but it certainly isn’t traditional! 🙂 hugs! Alex

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